Job cuts fear as county council tightens its belt

Lincolnshire County Council leader Martin Hill.
Lincolnshire County Council leader Martin Hill.
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A £90 million drop in spending in Lincolnshire County Council’s budget will result in up to 500 job losses, a top union official has warned.

Helen Stokes, county branch secretary of public sector union Unison, described the financial headache facing council leaders just four months after the axing of about 20 senior management posts as “pretty dire”.

The council has already cut spending by almost £150 million and axed up to 1,200 job losses since 2011 as the Government slashes the amount given to local authorities.

Now another £90 million needs to be saved over the next five years and Ms Stokes said: “We’re very concerned because it means job cuts yet again.

“I estimate it will be in the region of 500 full-time roles, following on from the 1,200 lost since 2011, and it’s a major cut to frontline roles in Lincolnshire.

“It’s pretty dire but we will be fighting these changes on all fronts and challenging the budget provision the council is looking at.”

Chief executive Tony McArdle said: “The council needs to save a further £90 million annually over the next few years and the first step is to put a management team in place of the size and with the range of skills that will meet that challenge.

“We are proposing to reduce our senior management team from 105 posts to 84 and this will be followed by a wider restructuring of the council geared to meeting our priorities in the most efficient was possible.

“Some job losses are expected but it is too early to give an exact figure.”

Council leader Martin Hill said: “The scale of this challenge means we must again review our priorities.”